Jennifer Shahade

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Tournament chess is not relaxing. It's stressful, even if you win.

Jennifer Shahade (born 31 December 1980) is an American chess player, poker player, commentator and writer. She is a two-time United States Women's Champion and has the FIDE title of Woman Grandmaster. Shahade is the author of the books Chess Bitch and Play Like a Girl and co-author of Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. She is the Women's Program Director at US Chess, MindSports Ambassador for PokerStars and a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis.


  • I love chess, but it's the height of decadence.
    • The King's Gambit (2007)

Gothamist interview (2006)[edit]

*"Jennifer Shahade, Author, Chess Bitch, U.S. Women's Chess Champion 2002, 2004" by Rachel Kramer Bussel at Gothamist (28 December 2006)
  • The biggest challenge in a simul is finding the right shoes! I want to look good in front of fifty people, but really sneakers are the best bet. I try to finish a simul as quickly as possible and don’t worry if I lose a game or two along the way. It becomes a manic workout. I’m literally running around playing moves as fast as my fingers and legs will go. My brain usually follows.
    The simul is a great chess illusion. It makes the simul-giver seem like a genius, when really they’re just speaking their language. Chessplayers rely so heavily on instincts developed from years of training and practice. Chess is not all about thinking, there’s a lot of feeling involved.
  • I’m only interested in playing competitively if there’s serious money on the line. I love playing, but at this point I need a concrete incentive to devote the time necessary to make that happen. If chess was my only love, I’d do it in spite of the financial hurdles. But because I love so many other things, writing and editing in particular, it makes sense to me to focus on that now.
  • Most chess books only sell a few thousand copies, and a book titled something like “Women in Chess” would sell even fewer. The idea with this title was to spread the book outside the competitive chess world. I’m interested in attracting readers who love chess but play only casually, and feminists interested in male dominated fields.
    • On the title of her book Chess Bitch : Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport
  • My first goal is to create an attractive, interactive website that forms a community of chess lovers. I want to keep it light and keep people coming back ⎯ heavy on photos, humor, and simple chess tactics and strategies. I want to promote our top players to increase their visibility and their chances to make a living at chess.

External links[edit]

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